The Indiana Supreme Court disbarred Indianapolis attorney Tim Durham Wednesday because of his “fraudulent looting of funds entrusted to him by investors.” Durham is currently serving a 50-year sentence for 10 counts of wire and securities fraud.
Durham was convicted in 2012 for his role in a complex Ponzi scheme to defraud investors in his Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. Prosecutors claimed he looted the company to support a lavish lifestyle and other failing businesses of his. Investors in the company lost more than $200 million when the company closed in November 2009.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned two of the 12 counts in 2014, leaving in place Durham’s eight counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud. He appealed his 50-year sentence last year, but that was upheld.
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission charged Durham with violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b) (committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer) and 8.4(c) (engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation). The hearing officer on the action, Marion Superior Judge Kurt Eisgruber, recommended Durham, who is already under an order of interim suspension related to his case and nonpayment of dues, be disbarred.
The justices agreed, releasing a 3-page per curiam decision Wednesday disbarring Durham in Indiana. He was admitted to practice in 1987.
“Respondent’s convictions on ten felony counts involved an ongoing scheme of wire and securities fraud that spanned several years and caused over $200 million in losses to thousands of victims. We have consistently imposed disbarment where an attorney exhibits a pattern of conversion of client funds,” the opinion states. “We see no reason to reach a different result with respect to Respondent’s fraudulent looting of funds entrusted to him by investors.”